The Sonpur cattle fair in rural Bihar comes alive every evening when more than fifty girls take to the stage and dance for an all male audience. A barbed wire fence separates the performers from the spectators. Origina...展开lly part of the nautanki, a popular folk theatre genre of north India, the dance of the female performer today has become a replay of Bombay films and music videos that span rural and metropolitan landscape. It is a performance charged with sexual energy. The girls dance, make eye contact, beckon, gesticulate and even abuse a highly responsive all male audience.
What meanings related to contemporary construction and practice of gender, sexuality, labour and popular culture can we read in the dance of the female performer?